The Medium Is The Message

posted in: On Creativity, The Tools | 2

Marshall McLuhan said that, and it may be one of the few things I remember about him from my Marketing classes.

And, I’ll be honest, outside of it being a catchy phrase, I’m not entirely sure it applies to this post.  But, I suppose, in a way, it does.
Take a look around you and think about how you receive information.  While a “picture is worth a thousand words”, the vast majority of the way we communicate information is via the written word.  Those words are transmitted to us through print of some kind, even if it’s on a computer screen.  The way those words are formed, the shape of the letters, are a typeface. Thanks to a misunderstanding and some naming conventions, we often erroneously call this a “font”, but a font is actually a particular typeface in a particular size and a particular style, like italic or bold.  Computer-based typefaces are variable and may contain many fonts, even though we generally refer to the entire thing as a font.

So what’s this all got to do with my regular Friday freebie?
Well, I love type.  Okay, you may not be able to tell from the current theme on the blog, but I virtually worship the printed word.  My poor wife had to work so hard with me to reduce my collected books to a manageable level, I don’t even know why she married me, the poor thing.  In any case, that obsession has led to me being way, way too fascinated with typefaces and then, of course, with computer fonts.  I have even spent some significant money to get fonts from on-line type foundries, though, I have to admit, I haven’t done that recently.  And, thanks to a number of open and free initiatives, I haven’t had to spend money to get some great fonts and font tools.
And,that’s what I’m bringing you this week; free fonts.

Below are six fonts that I got with two other templates for self-publishing, but they’re free as part of the SIL OpenFont License initiative, which means they’re free to use and distribute.

TheanoThumb SofiaThumb QwigleyThumb CandalThumb AmaranthThumb AlegreyaThumb

But, there are more free fonts where that came from, so be sure to check out Font Squirrel who has a lot of free, commercial fonts, as well as a web font generator.    Then, there’s the League of Moveable Type, who also has some cool free fonts and encourages designers to release at least some of their fonts for free.  And, also, exljbris Font Foundry, who has some free and some limited use fonts available, as well as some paid fonts.

But, if none of those fonts will do, you can always make your own with Font Forge, a free, OpenSource font creation and editing tool.  It’s pretty sweet, if you’re into fonts and typefaces.  Also, it’s free.

So, surely one of those things will amuse you or help you in some way, at least if you’ve read this far and didn’t get bored by now.  Personally, I think I’ll be working on my own font this weekend!